Research

Fashion Writer Job Profile

Fashion writers produce editorial copy for media outlets such as fashion magazines, newspapers, fashion / design websites or blogs, and of course for television. The majority of the industry’s fashion writers work within editorial departments of fashion design firms, but for those who specialize in areas like designer collection reviews… submitting articles on a freelance basis is often the preferred career direction. Talented fashion editors tend to partner with photographers, who together dig up their own stories e.g. formal portraits of designers, editors, models, celebrities and others who make up fashion’s inner circle. After developing these stories behind the scenes, they are pitched to chief editors or other fashion media buyers like Vogue or Cosmo. Like all journalists, fashion reporters must do thorough research and/or conduct interviews when preparing articles. Most draw upon their personal interest and incorporate their own personality into stories to make their pieces fun, interesting and engaging to readers.

Average Salary:

  • The median annual wage for editors was $53,880 in May 2012.
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,340
  • The highest 10 percent earned more than $104,660.

Outlook:

National employment demand for all fashion journalists and writers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022, as print media continue to face strong pressure from online publications. Despite some job growth for editors in online media, the number of traditional editing jobs in print newspapers and magazines is declining and will temper overall employment growth.

Two thirds of the nations working fashion editors will reside in either New York or California (US Dept of Labor). The fashion writing industry can be extremely competitive. Many choose to combine working experience with their education by joining the staff of a fashion or news publication while they complete their degree. This tends to be an important step in establishing professional contacts that eventually lead to fashion editing employment.

Qualifications:

Education – Given the competition for fashion writing jobs, a college degree in Fashion Journalism or Fashion Merchandising is highly recommended. Coursework or combined working and educational exposure in both fields is especially coveted by prospective employers.

Experience – As with any writing job, previous experience – demonstrated by a portfolio or collection of written work – is highly valued.

Skills – Excellent English communication and writing skills (e.g., spelling and grammar), attention to detail, and superior research and fact-checking skills are essential. A love of fashion and knowledge about the industry, historical trends, designers, textiles, fabrics and business are also important.

Personal Characteristics – Good interpersonal communication skills are needed for interviews and dealing with editors. Freelance fashion writers must have persistence and perseverance and be good at marketing their work (Wikipedia).

Career Path:

Editorial Assistant > Staff Fashion Writer > Fashion Editor

Also called:

Fashion Journalist, Fashion Critic, Fashion Reporter